Prioritizing Privacy is a three-year continuing education program that will train academic library practitioners to comprehensively address privacy and other related ethical implications of learning analytics projects (e.g., autonomy, agency, and trust). The training program will guide participants to explore learning analytics, privacy theory, privacy-by-design principles, and research ethics and then present participants with case studies. Participants will develop a plan for a learning analytics project prioritizing privacy protections.


The project plan will be carried out in three phases: Curriculum Design; Training and Evaluation; and, Dissemination. A team of content experts will contribute to the curriculum development and an advisory board will provide guidance and feedback. The primary deliverables of Prioritizing Privacy are: (1) face-to-face training for an estimated 200 participants; (2) online training for an estimated 200 participants; (3) an open educational resource packet consisting of the training curriculum, guidelines for facilitating the training, and recommendations for incorporating the materials into other training programs and library science courses; and (4) at least two peer-reviewed conference presentations and one peer-reviewed research publication. Find out more about each phase:

Phase One      Phase Two      Phase Three


As a result of Prioritizing Privacy, academic library practitioners will be better prepared to consider fully the privacy implications of library analytics projects and to improve the design of such projects in order to strengthen personal data protection practices. Participants will have expanded knowledge of the interplay and tensions between learning analytics and library values as well as an improved ability to navigate these tensions. They will gain specific skills related to designing learning analytics projects with attention to privacy and be prepared to use various methods and tools that can be deployed to protect privacy and provide for better data management.

Estimated Impact

Prioritizing Privacy will directly train up to 400 academic library professionals. Each of these individuals will bring the knowledge and skills that they gain through the training to their workplace setting as they apply them in learning analytics projects. As library learning analytics work tends to involve teams as well as engagement with campus partners, an estimated additional 1600-2000 people will be impacted indirectly by Prioritizing Privacy. Ultimately, though, the impact of Prioritizing Privacy will be on how library learning analytics projects are designed and the resultant protections for students.

Given the “big data” nature of learning analytics projects, the impact of this is tremendous. For example, if each participant conducts a learning analytics project with only 2,500 students, which is relatively small size for a learning analytics project, that means that Prioritizing Privacy training will impact the privacy protections offered to 1 million students. The impact on students is only amplified once use of the OER packet and other deliverables from Prioritizing Privacy are considered.